Incorporate Montessori magic at home with 5 inspired ideas

Simple ideas for turning your home into a Montessori learning environment for your blossoming babe.

Incorporate Montessori
magic at home with 5 inspired ideas

Sure, we’ve all heard of Montessori schools, but the latest and greatest way to introduce the Montessori philosophy to your little learner?

A few design changes to baby’s room and throughout the home could have lasting impacts on your child’s development.

We love these ideas for turning your tot’s abode into a Montessori haven. Maria Montessori would be proud!

Short and sweet.

In the living room and baby’s room, make books, toys, and safe household items accessible on shelves at baby’s height.

The Montessori Method stresses the importance of fostering independent learning in your child.

If your child is overly reliant on you for meeting basic play needs, there will be less opportunity for self-exploration and the building of self-confidence.

You can even put baby’s clothes in bottom dresser drawers for easy access. With any luck, baby will be mixing and matching adorable outfits before you know it!

For once, think small.

In the kitchen, provide baby with a small table and chair to call their own.

This table can be used as a creative work space for coloring, painting, building, reading, or sculpting (bring on the homemade KineticSand and PlayFoam!). And when baby gets hungry, this is a great spot to nosh. A few durable (and inexpensive!) glass cups and real plates area great addition to a Montessori home and can easily be used if baby’s seat is close to the floor.

Offering real tableware to your child sends the message that you trust your tot to be careful and responsible…and there’s no better way to promote self-confidence than by putting your own faith in baby!

Indeed, many schools with a Montessori philosophy use real glass and tableware with students, so this is a great way to prepare your child if they will be attending a Montessori institution.

Unlock the five senses.

In the bathroom or outside, set up a simple sensory table (read: a clear, shallow tub on a baby-height table).

Baby can explore the five senses by splashing in water, digging for “dinosaur bones” in rice, or squishing around in cooked pasta.

You can also incorporate different types of sensations throughout your home and yard for baby to explore. Whether it is the smell of a freshly potted plant, the feel of a furry floor rug, or the sound of nature on Pandora, everyone in the home will enjoy these new sensorial experiences.

According to Montessori theory, a wide variety of sensory experiences opens your child to more effective learning as they are able to build on these sensations to make real world connections between their own experiences and what they learn from others.

Let baby toy with an idea.

A wise piece of advice I try to remember when selecting toys for my little one? “A toy should be 10 percent toy and 90 percent child.”

Montessori toys are just that—traditional toys that require a child to interact, explore, and wonder. Rhythm instruments can be used to introduce the powerful feeling of creating artistic sound. Colorful wooden puzzles can stimulate baby’s creativity and problem-solving abilities. Or textured balls offer a simple sensory exercise at home or on-the-go for tots at any age.

Providing high quality Montessori toys to your child doesn’t have to break the bank.

On the contrary, the Montessori philosophy tells us that our children will benefit more from a few simple toys than a room full of expensive clutter.

Perchance to dream.

For the coup de grâce, if you are feeling brave, consider switching out baby’s traditional crib for an inexpensive Montessori-style floor bed.

Okay,okay. I admit it. I haven’t gone this far myself. The thought of my tiny tot running rampant in his room (gasp) independently at bedtime keeps me awake at night!

But, as long as baby’s room is carefully baby-proofed, this may be a good option for your family, depending on your tot’s temperament.

Although I think some children (including mine) need the security and confines of a crib for a good night’s sleep, some children as young as two months may rest in perfect peace with a little more freedom.

Offering your child the independence to choose when to get in and out of bed can promote self-regulation of play and sleep. Plus, all tots have to make the transition eventually, so now might be as good a time as any!

If you have any words of courage for making the big sleep leap, feel free to send them my way! Reach me at

Join Motherly

Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!


Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!


Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.


A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.


A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.


Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)


Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.


A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.


This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

Keep reading Show less